In my spare time, which is never enough, I also write a blog for my company on marketing issues, news, research, and other things that affect those of us in the marketing profession. I write the blog for a few reasons, a very notable one being to build the value of my personal brand.
Brands aren’t important only in terms of products or things we buy. In any profession, brands also have value. In fact, to your patients, YOU are a thing they buy. Ultimately they don’t buy a drug or a trial or a prognosis. They buy your advice, guidance and confidence in the treatment you choose to recommend.
That makes you a brand.
In a process as critical as recommending a course of treatment that could save a life, don’t you think a strong brand is valuable? As customers, brands inspire trust and create expectations of excellence that we crave. Aren’t those things also key parts of the doctor-patient relationship? Trust and excellence are critically more important in the context of a visit to an oncologist than to other situations in life where we prefer strong brands, like buying soda or a car or a pair of shoes.
A recent article posed the question to physicians as to whether or not you know the value of your personal brand. Are you able to answer that question? It’s important to have an idea, especially in today’s ultra-connected, social-sharing society where people exchange information about doctors, treatments, medication side effects, quality of care at specific facilities, bad experiences, and more.
In an era where reputation and perception influence decisions more than ever, it’s important for clinicians to put thought and time into building a strong personal brand with both colleagues and patients alike. And for good reason – it pays off on several levels.
· Monetary – Clinicians branded as experts get more patients, speaking engagements and access to people and places with money (of course, this is not important to everyone; yet it’s a benefit of a strong brand nonetheless)
· Notoriety – You don’t think physicians with strong personal brands are sought out more for opinions, research studies, conferences, media stories, and job opportunities? Think again.
· Trust – One of my recent posts discusses how patients turn to social media for health information; it certainly establishes trust when they see your expertise and presence in social media, in research, and in dialogue with other clinicians. Trust helps with treatment adherence, referrals and loyalty to your practice – just like it increases loyalty to a brand.
· Information – Another of my posts emphasizes why social media is an important part of today’s learning environment for oncology clinicians. Having a presence and strong brand in social media gives you access to discussion and dialogue with other experts.
Any of those things pique your interest? Let’s assume so. So what does it require to build your personal brand and figure out what it’s worth?
Find out by reading my next post, which will focus on exactly that.